Sunday, February 22, 2009

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

On this Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, we hear of the faith of the friends of a paralytic. They will stop at nothing to get their friend to the Lord for healing. Jesus forgives the man his sins (which causes controversy among the scribes), but the proof of Christ's authority over sin is the healing of the paralytic. It is as if Jesus purposely used this occasion to teach about the nature of forgiveness. Jesus is God made man, but that is not what he starts with - He starts with the fact that it is a wrong thought. Later in His ministry, Jesus will give that authority to forgive sins to the Apostles. It is, of course, God who gives the authority, but it is an authority that those 'ordained' by God through the Sacrament of Holy Orders are given a share. It is not a power in the priest's humanity, but God's work through the priest. How much of a privilege it is, to be an instrument of forgiveness!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I am now on Facebook

I just started a Facebook account through my email toddpetersen @! Feel free to add me as a friend!

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

In the healing of the Leper in today's Gospel, we hear the story of a man of faith. First, instead of crying out 'unclean' as we heard demanded in the first reading, he approaches and begs for healing. He recognizes that Jesus can do this healing, and in worshipping Him, recognizes Him as Lord and God. Jesus does heal the leper, and asks him not to speak of it. Instead, the former leper spreads the message, and Jesus is suddenly the one who cannot go into the city!

There are times we all are like lepers, each of us trying to hide our wounds. At times, we do not dare approach Christ and beg for healing. This leper provides a model - go with boldness, know that Christ is God and can heal us, and receive the healing. Unlike this former leper, however, we are to tell others. Jesus Christ can heal us, and even more, He desires to do so! If He heals us, how much more will he lead us to Heaven and into our true vocations!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Our Gospel reading refers to the mother-in-law of St. Peter, and some may get this a little confused. While it is possible (and even likely) that St. Peter was married, the mere mention of a mother-in-law is not proof that he was still married as he followed Jesus Christ. Note that there is no mention of his wife - most likely because she had died. This passage does not provide proof, therefore, against celibacy. Further, note that the Church has allowed married men to be be ordained (as often the case for permanent deacons, and even for those who were married and are free to be ordained priests either because of death or because there was no sacramental marriage due to invalidity or lack of form). Once ordained, though, the man can not marry, at least without the Vatican's approval.

The rest of this passage reminds me of the people's desire to know Jesus. The faith, as seminal as it was, attracted them to Him. Yet He knew He had others to lead into faith. In our vocations, we too are invited to lead others to Christ. Do our actions and words lead others to Him?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Our readings speak of The Prophet who is to come. The people of Israel did not want to hear the Lord speak to them any longer - they were fearful. They were (at least at the time) listening. In the Gospel, the demoniac cries out begging that the Lord is coming to destroy him. When we hear Christ, we hear God! No longer ought we cower, for He speaks to us in love. May we be willing to hear and respond.

The second reading contains St. Paul's teaching on Christians who are serious in our desire to serve the Lord to remain unmarried - aka celibate. Due to the anxiety and divided desires that having a spouse causes, it seems best to remain celibate. With those considering a vocation to the priesthood or religious life, we need to seek to serve the Lord with our whole hearts.